| Anand: Taken to tie-breaker
Hyderabad: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand advanced to the final of the World Chess championship edging out Russian Grandmaster Alexey Dreev 1.5-0.5 in blitz tie-breaker Friday.
Anand will meet GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan in the final, who beat Alexander Belyavski of Slovenia in the other semi-final.
After splitting points in the first two rounds, the deadlock between Anand and Dreev continued in the rapid round tie-breaker after two games.
In the 10-minute blitz round that followed Anand drew the first game before beating Dreev in the second.
Earlier in the day, Grandmaster Koneru Humpy stumbled in the women’s semi-final match going down 0.5-1.5 to defending champion Xu Yuhua of China.
Yuhua will face Stefanova Antoneta of Bulgaria, who beat Svetlana Mateeva of Russia 2-0 in the other semi-final, in the title-clash Saturday.
Coming out of the marathon match, a beaming Anand said, “Dreev defended well as I tried some new things. He proved very good which made the match slip into the second tie breaker.”
The first blitz round proved to be a protracted war where the two Grandmasters called truce after 88 moves. At that time, Dreev was holding an upper hand but was hard pressed for time and agreed for the draw.
In the second game, Anand with white, played the Caro Kann opening and forced a double pawn on ‘F’ square. He finally beat Dreev in 46 moves.
In Saturday’s final against Kasimdzhanov, Anand will play black in the first game.
Kasimdzhanov played a tactical game in his semi-final involving Ruy Lopez opening. In a tactical endgame, the Uzbek outplayed the Slovanian where he gained pawn advantage and was threatening to queen them prompting Beliavski to give up after 69 moves.
Humpy admitted that her opponent unleashed a very strong counter-attack and she crumbled under pressure after losing material.
“I committed some mistakes and lost the game,” she said after the match.
Yuhua marshalled her pieces with mastery and took advantage of the three hanging pawns of Humpy by combining her forces well. The Chinese virtually won the game when Humpy blundered in the 21st move by shifting her bishop to a weak square.
“I played a technically superior game,” Yuhua said.
Humpy’s father, K. Ashok, who is also her coach, said the 16-year old played badly opting for some change in the opening. “Some of the irregular moves and a few mistakes cost her the game,” he said.
Humpy was baffled by some strong moves of Yuhua who unleashed her knights with great ferocity to weaken the Indian’s pawn structure and occupy more space on the board.
Yuhua made most of the weak pawns of Humpy and exchanged the queens for an advantageous position and was up by a piece in the process to further compound Humpy’s trouble.
The junior world champion resigned after Yuhua’s passed pawn got full protection while her own rook was being threatened by the bishop and two of her pawns were ineffective and blocked.
Men: Viswanathan Anand (Ind) bt Alexey Dreev (Rus) 3.5-2.5 (1-1, 1-1, 1.5-0.5); Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb) bt Alexander Beliavski (Slo) 1.5-0.5 Women: Koneru Humpy (Ind) lost to Xu Yuhua (Chn) 0.5-1.5, Stefanoa Antoneta (Bul) bt Svetlana Matveeva (Rus) 2-0